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Carmaliot will have an heir

The day-bed had been set up with its head against the wall, between the two high windows. Sir Donald lay with cushions propping him; beyond his bed on one side he could see his leather-topped desk, on the other a cheerful blaze in the hearth. On a chair at the foot of the bed sat Lady Bedivere. Of their two faces I saw the greater alteration in hers. The paralysis which had seized on Sir Donald had only graven more deeply the lines of immobile calm which had been his usual expression.

Cornish pasties

Something touched my face. I was aware of light through my eyelids but would not open my eyes for fear of what I should see. A hand was lifting me. I could visualize it­ –...

An interminable night

I could no longer see my hand before my face: I might as well have been blind. I thought of the miners, who had worked down here. At least they had had lanterns. But even...

On a knife-edge

Jane had been there before – or rather, Cynthia. In John Christopher’s The Caves of Night, after a caving accident, she finds herself clinging on to the edge of an abyss, with the weight of...

‘Scream, if you like’

He moved towards me without haste. For an instant I was paralysed, a rabbit in front of a stoat; before fear changed and spurred me to action. I managed to get to my feet as...

Like a rat in a drain

I had already noticed a small hill rising out of the rolling contour of the moor, and now saw a building huddled beside it, or the ruin of one. It was low-lying, with a shattered...

The second Lady Bedivere

From his pocket he took a small black velvet bag, tied with black cord. He undid the cord and opened it, tipping the contents into his free hand. Stones flashed in the lamplight. They were...

I thought it was tin!

Long before Jane was pushed down a mine-shaft, before her fictional contemporary Alice fell down the rabbit-hole, even before King Arthur trod the bleak landscape, people had been coming to the west country for tin....

A darker face

I would not deny what had happened to me under the Arthur tree, nor belittle it. His kiss had aroused a feeling in me I had never known or imagined. I could vouch for my...